What I noticed, coming to the United States, is that most people coming from other countries tend to create friendships with people from their home country. It’s not always the case, but most of the time it’s true. But what if one can’t find any people that speak the same language or share the same background? That must be unfortunate, right? And usually, one needs to fit in to meet at least some basic aspects of contentment. Relate to someone and share at least a thing in common.
During my freshman and sophomore years, I somewhat struggled with school. Not so much academically, but more with the language and cultural barriers. My freshman year in high school was my second year living in the United States, and it was a challenge communicating with people in English. The accent. The grammar mistakes. And all the other factors that shape an immigrant coming to the U.S. from another country.
I wouldn’t talk to many people because of the accent, neither would I tell a joke in English because it might not sound funny. Or it might sound too funny because of the accent. The school lunches made me feel even more dreadful about moving to the United States. Everything was great for me back in my country. “Then why move?” I asked myself during my first few years in the United States.
The answer to the question is obvious. It’s the opportunities that the country beholds. But should these opportunities be prioritized over happiness? Though happiness can come in different forms, I talk of happiness when there is always a friend around. Especially in the case of so many other immigrants that come from their country to the United States, leaving their friends and traces of memories behind. It’s difficult. But only in the beginning.
It took me a few years to adapt to changes. And it took me another year of quarantine and lockdown to reflect on my life in a new country. Maybe I was privileged to meet a good friend that told me to reflect on my life by keeping a diary and journal and get all of my thoughts together. I don’t know. But I hope it’s not the case only with me, and one will find something to lean on. Whether it’s a diary, family, or a friend. Or maybe all of these.